Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

They Might Have Both Made Good Surgeons or “The attention is in the details.”

on June 30, 2015

We were getting a scary lecture on Universal Time Out at work. Not because there had been an ‘Uh oh” in our OR, but something somewhere had happened and our Director did not want it happening here. I get it. I’d be the same way.

I was doing well. I was focused. Then she said, with wide eyes, “The attention is in the details.”

Martha Stewart just jumped into my head. I was looking right at the Director. I was wide awake, but I was recalling Ms. Stewart standing behind a granite counter top lined with perfectly stuffed cannolis, saying the exact same thing.

Oh, that can’t be. She can’t be one of my role models.

Then as the Director said something benign about the surgeons, something else came to mind. “Measure twice, cut once.”

My dad used to say that to me as we worked on 4-H woodworking projects. (He is a role model.)

I wondered if surgeons measured. This wasn’t going well for me. I was beginning to go on a bender!

Martha was still in my head. I didn’t want Martha Stewart to be the person most known for having said something like this first.

I looked it up.

John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State in the Eisenhower era famously quoted the following:

“A man’s accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail.”

Dulles took an aggressive stance on cold war politics and is noted for supervising the completion of the Japanese Peace Treaty. Yes, I would imagine there were many details in that treaty.

There are also fluffier comments about details by authors and motivational speakers.

I wanted to believe that there was one person who quoted this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to remember only one word: details.

Martha can cut, Dulles can lead, and I can remember the details in order to do my job and the Universal Time Out sheet well.

That’s all that matters.

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